Namibia Seal Hunt Gross
Namibia Seal Hunt Gross violations of animal cruelty standards, human exploitation, destruction of the environment, corrupt politicians and greedy businessmen. From: The Seal Colony Dear Anon. I am hoping this correspondence reaches the intended recipients as I believe their unique talents and services could be put to good use. Please allow me this opportunity to present to your organization a matter that is very close to my heart. I am unable to reveal my identity, for reasons that I am sure you can appreciate. The Issues. Each year in Namibia, a quota of 80 000 Cape Fur seal pups (unweaned and still nursing from their mothers teats) are set to be beaten to death with pick handles for their fur pelts. Namibia is the only country in the Southern hemisphere beating seals to death. They are the ONLY country on earth to beat nursing pups.
A further quota of 6 000 adult bulls is set. These are shot in the face from a point blank range. Their fur is too coarse to be used in the fashion industry. Their genitals are exported to the east and are made into ineffective [censored] potions for the Asian adult entertainment market. This then fuels an illegal trade in animal body parts for fake medicines. Unlike the Harp seal in Canada, the Cape Fur seal is extremely agile. It takes evasive actions when being beaten and several blows are typically landed before the animal is rendered dead or unconscious. This has been confirmed by video evidence (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL3SchbHFkI ) as well as in reports from the US Endangered Species Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) The bitter irony is much of this massacre takes place on a dedicated seal reserve, an area one would expect these animals to be protected. The slaughter begins at day break and continues to 9am. From 9 to 10 the blood stains on the beach are covered up and the reserve is then opened to the unsuspecting paying public who come to view the colony.
Any blood that gets over looked is explained away as jackal kills from the night before. As the colony gets disturbed, a mass panic ensues and the animals flee towards the safety of the sea. Adult bulls will crush any young pups that get in their way. Pregnant females regularly self abort and the pups are known to get so terrified they will vomit up their mothers milk in fear. (see photos on the net) Such prolonged interference results in chronic stress, leads to the disruption of the physiological function as well as the suppression of the reproductive and immune systems. Also, it is not uncommon for pups, after having being herded into a tight bunch, to succumb to hyperthermia or suffocation before being clubbed. Surviving pups suffer from abandonment, reduced nourishment and even starvation. Without the protective safety of adults around, pups also become victims of predation from both brown hyenas and jackals alike. All of the above has been confirmed by Prof Steve Kirkman (Phd in Cape Fur Seals from UCT and former seal biologist to Namibia who was fired and ordered to leave the country within 24 hours after a report got leaked to the media in which he recommended the seal slaughter should be suspended for two years to allow the population to recover)
Journalists who attempt to film the atrocity are arrested on non existent laws, beaten up and detained. (as can be seen in the video link provided above) Unlike Canada, Namibia does not allow independent observers to monitor the cruelty and ensure that legal stipulations are being attended to. Putting animal cruelty issues aside, let me explain how this barbaric slaughter affects the people, for this is not just an animal rights issue. It goes far deeper than that. The slaughter runs from 1st of July through to mid November. It provides only 4 months of seasonal employment to less than 100 people (81 according to state owned newspaper New Era) The workers are exploited to the extreme. They earn minimum wages the equivalent of US$6 per day. They live in makeshift tin and cardboard shacks on the outskirts of the town. Drug and alcohol abuse is common place and domestic violence is the norm. Their human dignity is under constant assault from beating these animals to death.
They are uneducated and have no recourse to stress or trauma counselling. The workers in Namibia are kept in a position of squalor and poverty, utterly dependent on this seasonal massacre. The government refuses to look into a viable and economically rewarding alternative. An independent report undertaken by an Australian firm Economists at large clearly shows that eco-tourism will yield THREE HUNDRED times more revenue and create a multitude of jobs in a country desperate for employment. Not seasonal work, but all year round. You can find this report here http://www.wspa-international.org/Images/Economics of seal hunting and seal watching in Namibia 2011_tcm25-23402.pdf#false It takes between 6-8 seal skins to make a single fur coat. Each Cape Fur skin sells for US$7.00 (tourists pay US$12 to view the colony)
The main buyer is a man by the name of Hatem Yavuz who sells his fur coats for Aus$ 30 000.00 You can watch the King of the cull bragging how much money he makes to Australias Seven News here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nWfFqowjQg The money does not remain in Namibia to benefit the economically disadvantaged workers. There is no profit sharing scheme in place. It goes (primarily) to Yavuz who holds dual citizenship with Australia and Turkey.
Yavuz also happens to be the honorary consul of Namibia to Turkey. Honorary or not, this makes him a government official. He has offices paid for by the Namibian government. As a government official, Yavuz is benefiting directly from the sale of the country s assets, a crime in any acceptable democratic society. Yavuz has also been exposed in the media for an extra marital affair with Ivana Sert, the wife of Turkish billionaire Yurdal Sert. According to various news reports, Yavuz has also been keeping himself occupied entertaining whores and prostitutes and there is rumour of a cocaine scandal. I cannot confirm the cocaine rumour as Google Translate does not do too well from Turkish to English.
But the word cocaine does crop up in the gibberish when I research Yavuz in Turkish news. Yavuz website http://www.yavuzgrup.com/ The other buyer I have managed to identify is the Chinese connection to this debacle. They go by the name CapeFurSeal.com (website www.capefurseal.com) They are part of a consortium called Nanjing Nanjing just so happen to have been awarded the contract to build office blocks for the Namibian government even though they did not meet tender requirements. Local companies, Murray and Roberts as well as Namibia construction both tendered for the same project, met the tender requirements but were excluded. See archives of The Namibian http://www.namibian.com.na/index.php?id=28&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=2560&no_cache=1 It doesn t end there. Not at all. I have covered cruelty. I have covered human rights abuses. I have included the scandals. Now let s look at the ecological impact. Cape Fur seals (arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) are a threatened species.
They are not endangered but they are certainly under threat. They are listed on Appendix II of the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) This means that though not threatened with immediate extinction, their survival is dependent on conservation measures being adhered to and their trade needs to be strictly regulated. The species has lost more than 90% of preferred habitat. It has suffered from seven major mass die offs in the last 15 years, the most recent in 2006 where an estimated 350 000 seals died. (1/3rd of total population) This is the largest mass die off of any marine mammal in recorded history. If we examine the CITES trade data base, it shows that in 2010 Namibia exported 4 leather goods from the species. However, Turkey (where Yavuz has his operations) shows an IMPORT of over 17 000 skins. Ok, so why are these seals being slaughtered?
The government claims this is a move to protect fish stocks. Since gaining independence in 1990, Namibia increased their fisheries harvest from 300 000 tons to 600 000 tons. There are no public records of any sustainability studies being done. The slaughter targets 80 000 pups who are still nursing from the teat. They are not yet eating fish. Is it simply coincidence their pelts are more valuable than the adults? As mentioned, the bulls are slaughtered for their genitals. Now male pups are also targeted specifically so their genitals can be used too. This leads to an un-natural situation where there are proportionately many more females in a given colony. One bull seal can mate with up to 40 females. The result is not controlling the population. It is causing it to grow at a unprecedented rate that is putting massive strain on a fragile Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem. The clubbing is also causing the seals to flee and migrate further North, establishing new colonies. The result is a cold water species found traditionally around the Cape of Storms (hence the name Cape Fur) has migrated far beyond it s traditional range and is now found in subtropical waters off Angola where they are being machine gunned by the Angolan military using AK47 s (confirmed by Hatem Yavuz) Furthermore, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernard Esau REGULARLY ignores the advice of his own government scientists when it comes to allocating fishing quotas. I cannot confirm nor allege bribes are being taken however I can offer the following news articles.
On the 27 October, it was reported in the "Namibian Sun" that "Alarming news for Namibia''s fishing sector is that commercial over-fishing and the increasing volume of by-catches of some of the prime fish stocks has led to a drastic decrease of such species, raising concerns that they could be depleted if current practices continue. See http://www.namibiansun.com/content/national-news/namibia’s-fishing-sector-threatened On the 8th of November 2011, we learned via "New Era" that the "Fisheries ministry has violated the Treasury Act." See http://www.newera.com.na/article.php?articleid=41563&title=Fisheries
On the 24th of November 2011, "The Namibian" reported "Six group rights have been granted for Monk Fish, but no new rights for Pilchard, whose stocks are under strain." See http://allafrica.com/stories/201111240783.html On the 30th of December 2011, the "Namibian Sun" reported that in spite of these warnings, "Pilchard quotas for 2012 drastically increased. The Ministry of Fisheries plans to increase the TAC quota to 31 000 tonnes for the 2012 season." See the following http://m.sun.com.na/content/pilchard-quotas-2012-drastically-increased What changed in 36 days to warrant such an increase?? Oh, easy enough, we just blame the seals some more? Since we are on the topic of Bernard Esau, I may as well mention that he has not updated his asset register since 2009 although he is required to do so by law every year. He is after all a government minister, not just an honorary one.
Esau, whose 2009 asset register shows only Namibia $30 000 in his account is also the proud owner of a game farm valued at over Nam$30 million. How the hell did he afford that? This brings me to de Beers. Yes! De Beers diamonds! There are 3 slaughter locations. These are Cape Cross, Wolf Bay and Atlas Bay. Wolf and Atlas bays fall within an area called the Sperregebied Translates as Forbidden Area It is an area strictly controlled by NamDeb, a partnership between de Beers and the Namibian government. Private security has the authority to shoot on sight anyone found to be trespassing. It is an alluvial diamond field where diamonds can be found scattered in the sand. Esau, who controls the seal slaughter, also happens to be the head of NamDebs Kimberley Process (see http://www.gjepc.org/news/6395/bernard-esau-appointed-kp-chairman-namibia) one that certifies diamonds do not come from conflict areas. Esau allows the clubbers unrestricted access to these diamond fields that are totally off limits to the public.
Remember Vietnam? Drugs being smuggled out of the country in the corpses of dead soldiers? See http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/09/04/380290/-Is-Heroin-being-Smuggled-in-Dead-Soldiers-Body-Bags-from-Afghanistan-Iraq Could diamonds not be smuggled off the Sperregebied in the corpses of dead seals? Just a thought. Use it, don t use it. Why else would the government be so hell bent on continuing with the slaughter and risking massive global outcry? De Beers have indicated they are sympathetic to the plight of the Cape Fur seal yet the have done precious little by way of opposing the annual barbaric slaughter. Ok, next let s look at some legal issues.
The Animal Protection Act of 1962 specifically makes it illegal to (and I quote) overload, overdrive, override, ill-treat, neglect, infuriate, torture or maim or cruelly beat, kick, goad or terrify any animal.The 1991 amendment to the Animal Protection Act states the following Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any law contained, no meat or meat product derived from a prescribed animal shall be exported to any prescribed country, unless such an animal was slaughtered at a prescribed abattoir. Cape Cross is listed as a reserve, not an abattoir. And meat IS being exported as can clearly be seen from the CITES trade data base as well as from the website of Cape Fur Seal (mentioned earlier) In June of 2012 Namibian Ombudsman Adv John Walters ruled that a seal is not an animal and is thus exempt from any protection afforded by the Act. Since it is not an animal, the amendment to the Act does not apply either.
How ridiculous is that? (Apparently a wild animal is not an animal) I can carry on ad nauseam but I think by now you have a pretty good understanding that something is terribly terribly wrong. Iniquitous and needs to get some really high profile attention. I stumbled on the following link that made me think you guys are the perfect ones for the job. It is a Declaration of a cyber war on Namibia s seal hunt Check it out. http://greenwayup.com/blogs/590/318/declaration-of-war-on-namibia-se They have some good ideas but could really do with some help.
Dunno how but I m sure you could get creative. Here follows some useful websites you may consider visiting. (for your further research of course) Ethical Traveler drops Namibia from top 10 list of destinations due to seal slaughter http://www.ethicaltraveler.org/explore/reports/the-worlds-best-ethical-destinations-2012/ Namibia Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources http://www.mfmr.gov.na/ Namibia Tourism Board (Govt) http://www.namibiatourism.com.na/ (Take note no mention of the annual seal hunt to scare off any potential travelers) US Embassy of Namibia (who have sent some decidedly rude and impolite replies to my concerns) http://www.namibianembassyusa.org/ Hatem Yavuz http://www.yavuzgrup.com/ or http://www.yavuzgrup.com/hatemyavuz.htm The Namibian (country s largest independent newspaper) http://www.namibian.com.na/ New Era (Government owned propaganda mouthpiece) http://www.newera.com.na/ Office of the Namibian Ombudsman (who ruled a seal is not an animal) http://www.ombudsman.org.na/ NamDeb Diamonds http://www.namdeb.com/ Air Namibia (government owned airline) http://www.airnamibia.com.na/
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@imbaseal we already start an investigation about seal killing in Namibia the results of investigation will be posted on the blogs section by our investigator